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Thread: Activities That Are Impossible or Difficult After Full Fusion

  1. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
    Quote Originally Posted by ripley View Post
    Sorry, I didn't realize this was under revision and not first time surgeries. I'll leave it for now, but feel free to move it......

    I havenít logged in for a few years now and I apologize for that. Everyone here has helped me through such a difficult decision. I would not have found the courage otherwise. I was fused August 2017, T2-Sacrum with pelvic fixation, by Dr. Lenke in NYC. I was 52 at the time with curves of 70 and 54 and a lot of rotation etc. I had a large hump on my back and pain most all of the time. Standing more than 5 minutes hurt and at the end of the day was impossible. My back was burned from the heating pad which I could barely feel. I would lean on the kitchen counter to make dinner, only went to stores with carts, and used a wheel chair the last time we went to Disney. Little by little I gave up things I used to enjoy. I did force myself to stay active prior to surgery however, (vanity mostly!). I worked out with weights and cardio. I would do an elliptical machine for 45 minutes by leaning after the first 5 to counter the pain and weight machines were never really a problem. It was something I really enjoyed, so I was concerned about what I would be able to do afterwards.

    I have to say, I do so much more now than ever before! I now feel guilty for not staying on an elliptical and lifting more out of laziness! I can leg press 540 pounds and feel nothing. I lift weights as much as I want with no limitations. I donít even think about the fusion. I was worried that I would be stiff etcÖ but no. You donít realize how little you need to bend your back for most of your daily routine. Of course I have limitations like putting on socks, painting my toes, and shaving legs close to the ankles. Thatís not a concern for me at all though, it is so minor compared to the pain and disfigurement I had prior! I donít have any pain now! I know some people still do afterward and I feel so badly for them. Sometimes things donít work out no matter how hard you try and through no fault of your own. However, all you can do is to do your homework, place your trust in the trained doctors who know more than you, and hope for the best.

    I researched surgeons for years prior and struggled with the decision. I thought how brave everyone else was who had it done and that I could absolutely not sign up for that! I lied awake thinking of how to get out of it, and of course the only way is to let it progress, put up with more pain and do less of the things you enjoy each year. It is a terrible decision to have to make. I am so glad it is over for me and someday it will be for you too. I am tremendously happy with my decision of surgery and am amazed at how much better my quality of life is now. I donít feel I am missing out on anything because of fusion to sacrum. The surgery and recovery is difficult, but it gets better of course. Knowing the pain/recovery/benefits/limitations, I would most definitely do it again.

    Just for reference, I donít have problems with most of what you listed, only the following which I do not consider to be limiting in any way whatsoever:

    -Tie Shoes: I can tie them, but not to comfortably, so I tie them first then use a sock donner to help put them on.

    -Pedicure: Cutting and painting toe nails is difficult, so my husband does it for me. You could also use a salon. I wish I could do this, but not too big of a deal.

    -Shaving legs near ankles and around groin is a bit difficult. I have a ďman shaverĒ. It is an electric shaver I found on Amazon with a long handle. Itís for menís backs, but it works pretty good for womenís legs too!

    -Put on socks: I use a sock donner. Its quick and easy. I have several around the house and carry one in my gym bag. Itís not a problem.

    -Sit down bath: I can do this, but my shoulder blades are not very comfortable against hard surfaces. I think this is because I canít round my back, so what hits hard back surfaces are my shoulder blades.

    -Sitting/laying on floor: Sitting upright on the floor is not too comfortable. It is easier if I lean back on my hands or a pillow. Since you canít round your back, you canít get too close in forward to your legs, so you need to lean back. I can lay down on the floor, back, front or side, not real comfortable though. I get onto my knees to get up off the floor.

    -Butt wipe: This is difficult right after surgery especially. It gets better, however I will never be able to sit to do it again. I learned to stand and reach around. I also use Huggies wipes to be more efficient, but just tp works too. In the hospital they will give you a tool to help. I hated the tool and thought t was useless!
    I'm glad surgery worked out so well for you. It's amazing that you went from a wheelchair to doing the things you do now.

    Do you actually lift heavy weights at the gym now?

    If you need a sock helper, you can never wear pantyhose and tights. It's silly compared to other things, but I would hate that. Certain clothes I would miss. Like high heels are probably a thing of the past for me. Even chunky platform shoes, probably.

    Someone should invent a better butt wiping tool. The end should be disposable (flushable) so you seldom have to clean it, because how can you take it with you for use outside of your home? You would have to wash it at the sink in a public restroom and then repack it. You'll get dirty looks from people, won't you? No one cares enough to manufacture a better tool.

  2. #17
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Hi Tina! Putting on leggings is not a problem for me, and they are very similar to tights, just without the foot part. I think you would be able to do tights by yourself. Just start with the donner to get them on the foot, then pull them up. I guess panty hose would be hard, since they would rip. I hated those things anyway! I love shoes and wear heels quite often. Prior to surgery heels would hurt my back too much, but now it doesn't bother it at all. Yes, I lift heavy weights at the gym now almost as before, but I'm cautious about putting weight directly on my spine (squats and overhead). I was told there were no restrictions, so I do what I can and haven't had any problems, knock on wood!

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